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The skills gap that disturbs CEO sleep patterns

It has been fascinating to review this excellent survey that PWC conducted in 2019, where they looked back, and forward, as we consider what 2020/21 could look like.

The report throughout identified cautious optimism by the CEOs, but it was their identification of the existential threat posed by key skills that remained a stand out concern; 34% of all CEOs asked, identified it as a potential inhibitor to growth in 2019. This was marginally down on the previous year, but when we now consider that COVID19 has presented us with not only economic shock, but also the realisation that the workplace is probably going to change forever, and that new skill sets are going to be required as we globally transition to new ways of working. The previous risk associated with talent that is unable to clean, integrate and extract value from big data and advance with AI, are key skills that need development, alongside the transitional elements.

The gap between the information CEOs need and what they get has not closed in the past 10 years, which is alarming in itself, and points to the fact that adoption of more advanced digital solutions has simply not progressed at a rate that commerce needs. It is acknowledged that there are no quick fixes and business and government need to achieve greater alignment if the workforce are to be appropriately developed during this era of disruption, with the adoption of greater commitments to adaptability and life long learning.

As we consider the realignment of the workforce, we now have an opportunity to draw learnings from our business leaders and build solution centric strategies that optimise the technologies of our time. Using these technologies, a rejuvenated and, appropriately skilled workforce, can provide greater resilience, information and overall effectiveness to meet contemporary needs. As we consider how this can be achieved, the combination of employee engagement, internal communications and learning into a more dynamic ‘internal engagement’ business focus, will align 3 traditional components into a single entity that will optimise budget availability and drive the people component effectively in support of operational needs.

A great time for advanced thinking and agile communication and learning agencies to become true partners with their client base.

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